EOR Ethiopia Trip-Day 10

It appears as if our adventurous crew of 8 have regained some internet access. After spending a few days in very rural southern Ethiopia, the EOR team is heading back to Addis Ababa. For those of you just joining us. Ethiopian Orphan Relief has a team in Ethiopia right now. Part of our responsibility as a nonprofit is to check on and assess the needs and how our funds are being spent. On this trip, 8 people are traveling throughout Ethiopia. They are meeting and seeing first hand what every single dollar given to EOR has done for the individuals there. Thank you to our donors, you make us proud.

Once again, here are the updates from Kim and Lauren:

Kim: “Wow!! Amazing time we had in Shanto, Ethiopia since Tuesday. The orphanage is all built. We did painting, health assessments, installed a basketball hoop, bought tons of medical supplies, chalkboards, school books, passed out gena bags, went to open air market and bought all the kids bananas out and left much of our heart in Shanto. Now on the way to Dale and Borcha villages to pass out mosquito nets. Will update more in few days. Haven’t had internet or phone access since Monday.”

Lauren: “Day 10- On our way back to Addis from Soddo and Shanto. Wow- This FOVC compound that EOR helped fund is RURAL! We are so pround to be partnered with this group. Desalegn Daka is a smart, loving, and innovative person. These kids are in dire need of our support. Great things are happening that are changing the whole community of Shanto. Clean water, medicine, and EDUCATION. The kids were working on math problems in a mud/ hay building that knocked my socks off. The need is great, but they have come so far with the great support of Ethiopian Orphan Relief. Had a HUGE bon fire and a lamb/sheep dinner. Yes… I saw the animal eat its last meal a few hours prior.”

Mek’ele, Addis Abba and Soddo, Oh My!

Today the Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s crew is traveling back to Addis Ababa after visiting LOLA Children’s Home in Mek’ele. Next stop: Soddo, to visit FOVC.

From Kim, “Back in Addis Ababa tonight after a great two days in Mekele! We had a wonderful visit with the children at Lola Children’s Home! The kids LOVED their Project Gena bags. Can’t wait to share the photos!! Tomorrow we drive 7 hours south to Soddo. Can’t wait to meet the kids at FOVC-Ethiopia.

And from Lauren, “Good Morning! Slept well last night after I lost the key to my room and it took 1.5 hours to get a new one 😉 . Everything is on “Africa Time”. This morning my mom Judy Andronici and I are eagerly awaiting the rest of the team to arrive in the lobby while I type this post. I must say the coffee is AMAZING .. and FREE. So far we have had 5 coffee ceremonies and I may need a caffeine detox upon arrival home. Todays plans include painting a huge intricate gate at LOLA, Project Gena backpack distribution and Creating art tiles with the kids for a Lights of Hope Auction item, that is sure to be a popular item in Portland Oregon. We are flying out at 5 Pm and plan a mellow eve at the guest house. Tomorrow we head south to visit partner FOVC for 3-4 days. We will have a 6 hr drive through beautiful country. I am excited to see the orphanage that Ethiopian Orphan Relief built with your generous donations in this past year. At our last years Portland Lights of Hope auction we raised 31K in 15 minutes during the “raise the paddle” portion of the event. It should prove to be the most intense part of our journey yet and I doubt I will have internet access regularly. So you may have to wait for further updates. Thanks for all your well wishes and support”

World AIDS Day

Yesterday, I got back from a trip to Ethiopia. While I was there, I had so many
experiences and met so many wonderful people that I cannot possibly recount the tale here. So today I will focus on our
newest partner organization, Lola. Lola Children’s Home focuses exclusively on providing help for children affected by HIV/ AIDS. It is located in Mekele in northern Ethiopia.

As a mother of three HIV-positive children, Lola is an organization that is close to my heart. I met the founder, Abebe Fantahun,when I was in the process of my last adoption. Heis a wonderful man who woke up in the middle of the night, arranged a driver, and took my son and I
to the hospital when my son was super sick in Addis.
I cannot express my gratitude for this selfless
act of service when others turned away. For Abebe,
serving others is a way of life and his organization reflects that in every way.

I was lucky enough to visit Lola last week and the
amazing staff and facility blew me away. Lola
provides daycare services for 3 children and
full-time care for another 5. The children receive
three meals a day and schooling while they are
in Lola. Lola’s loving staff is a surrogate family
for the children. Everyone from the social workers
to the cooks plays and cares for those eight sweet

I have been to Ethiopia and have seen many orphan
care centers. I won’t depress you with tales of the
worst, but suffice it to say, I have seen those
dreary places. Lola is one of the best. The
children are a happy part of the Lola family and are
little joys. We played soccer, tie-dyed t-shirts,
and took the children to an amusement park.

I won’t soon forget the sweet smile of 7 year old Y,
little J, the one year old bossy princess, or N,
the pouting sumo wrestler of a boy whose wild
facial expressions make everyone laugh.
Lola was Abebe’s dream only a year ago and now it
is a wonderful reality.
Please consider supporting them. Today is
World AIDS Day.  As we consider the
MILLIONS of children affected by HIV/AIDS, let us
also consider giving and making a difference
in the lives of  these children.


Two Big Ethiopia Trips, Big Difference

I’m sure most of you are well-acquainted with Cindy, the mother of the ever-delightful of triplets Bereket, Sira, and Tsega.  If you haven’t joined the fan club, run to her blog, ethiopia tripletland and join in the fun.  Our very favorite videos of other people’s tots are always on Cindy’s blog.  Astrid Meklit is besotted with the three of them.

When I began to ask various bloggers to guest post, Cindy was at the top of the list.  A mama to three, three-year olds?  She’s got ‘BiG’ covered.  Although I told Cindy she was welcome to post on any subject she liked, I firmly cajoled her to talk about the differences between her two trips to Ethiopia.  I’m so glad I’m bossy, assertive, because here is the glorious result:


I start the flight to Ethiopia drunk.  My husband Jerry and I are beyond giddy which seemed to climax at a DC lounge.  We were about 15 hours from Ethiopia and two weeks from completing the adoption of 5 month old triplet boys.  By Rome, during our touchdown for jet fuel, I was swooning.  My head hurt, I wanted to throw up, and I started making trips up and down the aisle every 15 minutes with a bad case of stomach nerves.  But worse, I was suffering the start of a 2-day panic attack.


I return to Ethiopia as tourist only.  I am traveling with my mother.  I free my children from my mind but open my nervous system for details.  This time I will experience more religion and history and cover more distance; first east to Harar, then north to Lalibela.  My role in our mother-daughter duo is leader.  I adjust expectations, make sure we don’t get lost, get what we need, know what’s happening, and write everything down.  I know how to navigate our travels and do not get sick on the plane.


We are landing in Africa.  I know well the sensations of Sub-Saharan African culture shock and waited for this short-lived stage to take over.  Babies, however, this was a new shocker.  Anxiety and claustrophobia hit hard.  Despite all the desperation of infertility, miscarriages, disappointment, red tape, and long stretches of waiting time, I was suddenly in no hurry to meet our new sons.  I feel relief that our first week in Ethiopia will be spent traveling away from the care center that fosters our babies.

Our first day in Addis Ababa, I am itching all morning to get out of the hotel.  I almost run up the street to shake this suffocating feeling.  Finally out driving, we are crossing the city on Bole Boulevard waiting in traffic.  Like out of nowhere, this guy is waving an 8-digited hand at my car window.  I flinched hard and might have screamed.  I remember feeling icy inside.  Like a ghostly line up, he was followed by a showcase of the disfigured, handicapped, and impoverished: blind, crippled, twisted bodies that rolled on skateboards, backs encased in tumors, all cupping their fists out for duh, money.  I’ve seen this before, buy my body reacts strongly.  I feel like crying.


I am in Addis again and feel good. I recognize hotel workers and drivers.  The capital looks different through my new eyes.  Richer.  Sexier.  Exciting.  Busy with commerce.  There is still extreme poverty and pollution, but destitution is not all I see.  I think how stupid it was that my first impression failed to notice the number of well-to-dos on their way to work, running neat shops, dining out.  I begin to recognize many of the street beggars as we pass them everyday, but this trip I notice fewer.  I catch them laughing, talking, playing jokes.  I pass birr notes outside car windows to them and feel guilty for doing so stupidly little.  Human beings, somebody once said, can adapt to anything.


Driving through the southern highlands to the Bale Mountains, there are no unpopulated spaces.  Kids crowd us each time we leave the car.  They ask for pins.  Mothers stare.  Teenagers sell us goods.  It’s fascinating, we banter, exchange humor, pleasantries, yet I’m tired from losing my personal space and solitude.  I can’t find a bush to pee behind unless I run fast from the car and yell at children to go away.  I’m laughing when I do this.  The landscape is at times beautiful, green, and lush, and we pass many fields of teff ready for harvest.  We study the agriculture, wildlife, landscape.  We learn cultural, political, historical details.  We camp in the cold and foggy Bale Mountains and it reminds me of the Pacific Northwest.  We ride horses and see baboons, wart hogs, nyala, and mark up our bird book.  The wart hogs are oddly docile here.  We meet gracious exciting people.  I have exited culture shock.  My eyes are different. Now I am up for anything, including motherhood.

The remainder of our trip we hole up with our new family in the company of other newly formed families.  We are by now acclimated and patient as we grow more tired with less sleep and more illness.  We walk slow and heavy with our new children, like in a sea of molasses, and forget to hurry.  I wish the honeymoon would not end and I don’t want to go home.


We are driving east to Awash National Park and onto the Muslim city of Harar near Somalia.  Fields of teff are maturing but still green.  The land becomes dry, volcanic, hot, and strangely unpopulated.  This is Afar country.  I can pee anywhere and nobody sees me, there are no crowds, the culture is more reserved.  I like this solitude.  We see monkeys, warthog, oryx, and caravans of camels.  Here I scare wart hogs from the bush.  Our guide names every bird for me.  The look from Afar people cuts me like the knives they sling.  Young men wear their hair long.  They are proud, decorated, and beautiful.

A few days later we leave the wild solitude of Afar and travel the eastern extension of the Ethiopian highlands to Harar.  The land becomes cooler, fertile, with more relief than Awash.  The slopes are dotted with chat bushes.  This is chat central: growing, selling, exporting, consuming.  Some have lost teeth to it.  I find the taste bitter and its effect mild, but I do not chew much.  The atmosphere is lively as we enter the walled city of Harar.  Oromo and Harari women dress in beautiful bright cloth for market days.  Inside the walls, history and religion, painted concrete, vibrant colors, mosques, alley mazes, and cobblestone mix strangely with modern eateries, loud pop music, traffic congestion, overpopulation, chat consumption, and a hint of lunacy.  We spend our nights closed up in a traditional Harari house.  I feel strange and melancholy like the midnight cry of the hyena outside our window.  Why did I come all this way to a weird place?

Harar reproduces a painting in my head: Mystery and Melancholy of a Street.  The painting depicts a shadow of a girl twirling a wheel down a lonesome street.  You feel the shadow of something around the corner and it might be nothing or it might be menacing.  By the time we leave Harar, the day after watching the nightly hyena feedings, a sense of color and vibrancy dominates my memory.  I decide there is nothing menacing around the corner and now I realize of all my Ethiopian travels, Harar perhaps had the biggest impact (so far).

Mom and I finish our duo in Lalibela, the only city we experience in the northern historical route.  The details of the mind blowing craftsmanship of the rock-hewn churches are too much for one camera and one memory.  I am barefoot and leading my mom arm and arm on rocky, uneven floors through churches that challenge her bad ankles.  We move slow.  On the hike to Yemrehenna Kristos cave church, we hand out birr notes to a line of almost entirely blind beggars.  Our guide encourages this, points to the needy ones I have missed, but we both agree that handing out money and things to children who ask out of habit rather than need corrupts culture.  I made this mistake in 2006.  The line between right and wrong waves in and out and I still feel stupidly impotent.


Today I wonder when our next trip to Ethiopia will be, when we will take our children, how we will find the money.  I hope we are there soon and I find myself wandering the Omo River Valley.

Thank you so much Cindy, for sharing your voice (and your terrific triplets) with us.


BiG April tip #1

Talk to a group of 25 adoptive parents about their adoption fears, and after hair care for girls, dealing with packing for the extended overseas trip seems particularly high on the list of all things anxiety-provoking.

I’d like to think I know a little about packing–my fabulous husband has worked out of town each week for the last 2 years, (and for several more over the last 11).  Between us, we’ve learned to pack a carry-on really well.  We also travel a fair bit  (usually more than 6 weeks a year) as a family, and although I think the cargo hold in my Subaru is infinite, in reality,  I need to pack carefully to squeeze it all in.  All of that, coupled with my international trips and I’ve learned a lot about how to minimize my load.

My favorite packing tool is a packing cube*:

The ones from Rick Steves are my absolute favorites–they hold a ton, keep it neat, and add zero bulk to my bag.  They seem so small when empty, but they hold far more than the compression bags–I used those for the trip to Ethiopia, and have never liked them–things wrinkle, the whole bag needs to be opened and then recompressed if you need something, etc.  These cubes, these, my packing pals, are the way to go.

Please add your own fabulous packing tips to this post, and be sure to check out our great packing list.

*This set of packing cubes was found on Amazon.com for 17.00 for the set of three



Finally… Finally I am going to Ethiopia. $%^?? !!! I am not ready. I am leaving in 1 month. Haven’t got my final immunizations…. haven’t checked the climate…. and have not even considered what to pack. Hope that I make it to the airport. The planning never seems to work out for me. This is the second time I have planned this trip. I seem to recall the last time around I was more prepared. At that time I was ready… tons of free time on my hands. Now I am in a VERY different place. This time I will be travelling with EOR board members and leaving my family at home.

My previously planned trip fell to pieces when I gave birth 4 short days prior to departure. My sweet husband had to go pick up our 7.5 month old daughter without me. I have dreamed of going ever since.

I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I have a few of the major preparations complete.

  1. CHILDCARE- A mother in law to help my sweetie with the cyclone sisters (3 and 2.5 years old).
  2. TIME OFF- 2 weeks off from catching babies (midwife).
  3. TICKETS- I think??? Kim said she bought them, but I haven’t seen the credit card bill yet.

Overall, I am feeling nervously excited. I am thrilled to finally visit the country my sweet Meron was born in. I have seen thousands of photos, read a armful of books, and viewed hours of videos. Guessing that actually being there will be an amazing and life changing experience. Damn. That reminds me- I need to get my camera fixed too. Add it to the list.

The nervous part of “nervously excited” includes the fact that I will be so far away. This trip puts my previous trip to Europe to shame….”Very far” on so many different levels. Distance, culture, and wealth just to name a few. I am also nervous about visiting the orphanages. My heart is generally open and I often allow myself to feel deeply. The children will move me. I know it.

Well, I have one month to prepare. I am sure I will be packed, immunized, and at the airport on time. I certainly will miss my sweet family, my cozy house, and the general flow of my daily existence. Perhaps when I return my eyes will be more open and my drive to improve this earth in any small way will be refueled.






Project & Partner Updates: SOS EE & AHOPE

Thanks to the immense generosity of attendees to Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s first annual Lights of Hope auction in Portland in May, we have funded our first project for partner SOS EE (parent organization for the Toukoul orphanages) and raised a significant amount of money and supplies towards medical equipment for their new HIV clinic. Over the last year and a half, we have also successfully raised all of the funds required (and then some!) to complete our first project for partner AHOPE for Children. In fact, we were able to do double what we’d originally planned, thanks to the support of our wonderful donors.

For the last several months, the EOR Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to source local Ethiopian suppliers and contractors to set our plans in motion. Once we selected the right folks to work with, we worked with them to design two playgrounds for AHOPE and one playground for SOS EE’s new Akaki complex, which was recently completed and opened its doors to orphaned children. In addition, we have raised enough money to also purchase an indoor swing for AHOPE, fund several field trips for the children at AHOPE and we’ll be bringing over lots of art and school supplies to AHOPE when our Board of Directors travels in December to work on the well we’re building in Boru in conjunction with the Union College Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Here’s the details!

Little AHOPE Playground (at the facility for younger children):

  • Wooden swingset with slide
  • Wooden sandbox
  • Merry go round
  • Traditional Toukoul style playhouse
  • Wood and chain adventure bridge
  • Metal curved climbing ladder
  • Picnic table
  • All ground will be prepped for safety

Big AHOPE Playground (at the facility for older children):

  • 2 Sets of monkey bars
  • Wooden swingset with slide
  • Basketball court & hoops
  • Chain “cargo net” style ladder
  • Balance beam
  • Picnic table
  • All ground will be prepped for safety

AHOPE Art & School Supplies

  • 20-24 packs of crayons
  • 5-Kid’s scissors
  • 6-12 packs of colored pencils
  • 4-Pencil sharpeners
  • 4-Pencil cases
  • 5-11 packs of markers
  • 4-5 pack squeeze & brush paints
  • 11-8 color watercolor paints
  • 24-Paint brushes (various sizes)
  • 2-20 stick packs of sidewalk chalk
  • 4-88 pc. construction paper & stencils
  • 16-Glue sticks
  • 5-White glue
  • 5-Sets of learning flashcards
  • 2-Beginning writing tablets
  • 4-Preschool workbooks
  • 2-Elementary workbooks
  • 30-Photo albums
  • 1-Digital camera
  • 1-Photo printer, ink & photo paper (enough to complete photo albums)

AHOPE Field Trip #1

  • Swimming at a local pool in Addis for 14 kids
  • 2-250 water balloon packs (for the kids remaining at the compound)
  • 7-Boy bathing suits
  • 7-Girl bathing suits
  • 4-Pairs of flip flops

AHOPE Field Trips #2 & #3 TBD

SOS EE HIV Clinic Equipment

  • Approximately $13, 150 toward medical equipment TBD based on most immediate need at time of clinic opening (i.e., autoclave, oxygen cylinder, exam beds, pulse oxymeter, suction machine, etc.)
  • 6-Splints
  • Nebulizer
  • Clock
  • Stethoscope
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Mid calf boot
  • Sling  shot brace
  • Brace liner
  • Cast shoe
  • 4-Otoscopes
  • Home care kit
  • Reflex hammer

SOS EE Playground at Akaki Orphanage

  • Teeter totter
  • Merry go round
  • Slide and bridge
  • Wooden swing set
  • Monkey bars

Construction on the playgrounds will begin in the next couple of weeks, and will be completed by the time our Board travels to Ethiopia in December. We look forward to taking lots of pictures of the children playing on the various playgrounds for our donors, and in addition to taking the children at AHOPE on their swimming field trip, we will also be conducting art clinics at AHOPE. We look forward to completing a project suggested by adoptive mom and new Board Member Katie Bell–photo albums for the older children of them playing with their friends and caregivers at AHOPE, so they can take those memories to their forever families when they are eventually adopted.

Thanks again to all of you who have supported us! We couldn’t have done it without you! You helped me to realize a dream I had two years ago when I saw my daughter play on her swingset for the first time, and for that, I will be forever grateful. The kids whose day you’ve helped brighten will too.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ethiopian Orphan Relief,

Danielle Marquis

President & Founder

Ideas for those left at home while you travel…

Okay for those of you who know me this will come as no surprise, I am one “of those” people who try to make sure I have my basis covered for the “what if this happens” scerino.
When we planned our trip to Ethiopia to bring our daughter home we felt it was best if I traveled and my husband stayed home with our son who was almost seven years old. We felt it was best for him to stay in school and have a routine. I asked one of my sisters if she could travel with me and she was happy to come.
My son was very nervous about me leaving. I had only been away from him two nights in his life. I knew he was in perfect hands with my husband. He’s a very hands on kind of Dad and can handle any situation that comes up.
One thing that I did prior to leaving was purchased some little token type gifts, ie: playing cards, stickers, little comic books, gum, etc. I wrapped these individual gifts and labeled them with Day One, Day two, etc. I was going to be gone for 10 days so had one for each day. Each day I was away he couldn’t wait to see what surprise he would open. The first day was a little snow globe that had a place for you to insert a photo. I placed a photo of the two of us and said that if he ever felt sad while I was gone to just shake the snow globe and he would feel the love I had for him. I hear he carried it around with him often while I was away.
Another idea that helped keep things on a routine is I had a file folder for each day. In this folder was things as simple as “don’t forget trash day is tomorrow.” to “baseball game at 6pm, don’t forget his cleats.” They would look at the folder the night before to see was in store for the next day.
Having meals in the freezer and a stocked pantry were also helpful. Even though after I returned home not ONE of these meals had been consumed! They were taken care of by many friends and neighbors.
Setting a specific time to call home. I called home each morning which was evening in the Pacific NW.
Also notify your child’s school that you will be gone. That way if they need to contact you they can have a back up number.
Even though the “what if scerino” never happened. I felt better knowing I had left a few things at home for them to find comfort.
I will be again traveling to Ethiopia for another 10 days this summer and am already collecting “little tokens” to leave for each day.
Do you have any great ideas for ideas for those left at home while you traveled? We’d love to hear them.

Adoption Travel Packing List

Note: This packing list was created using the lists of several friends who had already been through the adoption process in preparation for our trip to pick up our 10 month old daughter. I’ve since edited the list after having been to Ethiopia. While in Addis we stayed in a hotel and outside of Addis we stayed in a small local hotel and a traditional Afari grass hut. Our packing list reflects the travel we did outside of Addis. We packed very light–one carry on sized suitcase for each of us, plus one personal item (i.e. purse/computer bag), one large suitcase for the baby and 3 suitcases full of donations. We used old suitcases for the donations and left them behind. We also packed old clothing for ourselves and the baby, and left all of that behind as well to lighten our load on the trip home. All of the clothing we packed for ourselves dried quickly (we washed our clothes in the sink at night) and didn’t wrinkle. We wore the same things most days.

Adult Packing List

  • Old Sneakers (worn on plane)
  • Croc-style shoes
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Undergarments
  • Yoga Pants (worn on plane by me)
  • Pants That Zip Into Shorts (worn on plane by husband)
  • Fleece Jacket (worn on plane)
  • Rain Coat
  • Skirt (quick dry fabric)
  • Long sleeve shirt (worn on plane)
  • Short sleeve shirt
  • Button Down Shirt (husband, worn to meet our daughter in and attend Embassy Appointment)
  • Dress (me, worn to meet our daughter in and attend Embassy Appointment)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact Case and Solution (travel sized)
  • Bandana
  • Hair ties
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Hair Product, Deodorant, Razor (with built in solid shaving cream), Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Comb, Face Sunscreen, Feminine Products (all travel sized)

Baby Packing List

  • Diaper Rash Cream, Eucerin Lotion, Baby Sunscreen (all travel sized)
  • Baby wash cloths preloaded with cleanser (Huggies makes disposable ones)
  • Baby Wipes (x2)
  • Scented Garbage Bags (for dirty diapers)
  • Diapers (10/day)
  • Swim Diapers (1/day)
  • Pacifier
  • Changing Pad
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Rubber Pants (to layer over diapers on flight home to prevent blow outs)
  • First Aid: Baby Motrin, Baby Tylenol, Baby Orajel, Thermometer, Pedialyte Powder
  • Robeez Shoes
  • Comfy Outifts (3/day, plus 4 for plane) (I did sweatsuits)
  • Onesies (2/day)
  • Sweater
  • Formula
  • Baby Food
  • Disposable Baby Spoon and Bowl
  • Disposable Sippy Cup
  • Playtex Drop Ins with Liners
  • Bottle Brush
  • Disposable Bibs
  • Drool Bibs (3/day)
  • Baby Snacks (Cheerios and Fruit Puffs)
  • Receiving Blankets (x3)
  • Small Toys, Teether, Book, Tub Toy
  • Burp Cloths (1/day, plus 3 for plane)
  • Sun Hat
  • Sling

General Packing

  • Chamois Camping Towel
  • Small Kleenex Pack (x2)
  • Ear Plugs & Eyemasks
  • Travel Pillows
  • Candy, Trail Mix, Granola Bars
  • Folder with adoption paperwork
  • Folder with all travel documents
  • Book
  • Magazines
  • Pen & Blank Notebook
  • Cash
  • Passports, Yellow Fever Certificates with Shot Records
  • Laptop
  • DVDs
  • IPod
  • First Aid: Hydrocortizone Cream, Lotrimin, Neosporin, Nasal Decongestant, Pepto Bismol, Tums, Immodium, Claritin, Sleeping Medicine (prescription), Lice Bedding Spray, Lice Egg Remover Kit, Scabies Cream (prescription), Carmex, Liquid Bandage, Gauze, Medical Tape, Gas-X, Dramamine, Bandaids, Malaria Meds (prescription), Cipro (prescription), Airborne, Vitamins, Q-Tips, Cotton Balls/Pads, Vaseline, Advil, Tylenol, Thermacare Heat Packs (back and belly) (we packed small quantities of each and left most of this behind)
  • Insect repellant (safe for baby)
  • Money belt
  • Camera, Charging Cord, Extra Memory Card (fully charged)
  • Video Camera, Charging Cord, Extra Tapes (fully charged)
  • Space Saver Vacuum Bags (all clothing was packed in these)
  • 110 to 220 Converter
  • Plug Adapters
  • Bubble Wrap (it helped save our souveniers on the way home)
  • Duct Tape
  • Swiss Army Knife (with scissors)
  • Laundry Detergent (in travel sized bottle), Rope, Clothes Pins
  • Ziplock Bags (all toiletries, first aid, etc. packed and organized in these)
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Dish Soap (in travel sized bottle)
  • Hand Sanitizer, Charmin Wipes, Travel Sized Toilet Paper (x2; in own Ziplocks, bring with you at all times–restrooms often don’t have water and/or toilet paper)
  • Sunglasses
  • Cell Phones (full charged)
  • Lonely Planet Ethiopia